75 eggs... still learning!

"Cast your burdens upon Jesus, He caaaaares for you!
Lowa lowa, lowa lowa lowa lowa, lowa lowa,
stomp satan lowa!!"
ahh, the joy of camp songs..... makes me miss southwind!!

Well, friends... my time here is drawing to a close.... about five weeks left, or very possibly less...

And just to mix it up a little, it's July! Which means Camp Arrowood! The summer camp we have for all of July... for most ranch folk, this month means complete isolation, because there's not much we can do all together with the camp kids all over the place... but for me, this month means GREAT FUN! I am having so much fun! They've put me in the kitchen with our cook, who, for camp, cooks breakfast, lunch and dinner for 60-75 people Monday through Friday! so she needs all the help she can get, and I'm in there with her Monday through Friday... Monday and Tuesday I'm in Christopher House for school time also, so I'm still getting some exposure to ranch life... Camp lasts four weeks (it's half over), and I am just looking so forward to these next two weeks! On the weekends, I find myself strangely missing being in the kitchen... haha, it hasn't driven me to cooking for myself just yet though... but anyways, the camp kids are great, and our kids all are going to camp different weeks too, so i get to see them when they come through the serving line... it is crazy fun! and even crazier, I'm learning all of the cooking techniques of this amazing cook! So in 2 more weeks, I'll know how to cook meals for 60-70 people! but no more, or no less.... haha that's helpful...

anyways, we've got three new kids here at the ranch, and I want to ask y'all to pray for them and their transition into ranch life.... besides that, there's not too too much happening, beside camp, and church camps and mission trips and house vacations, which all are also things you guys could keep in your prayers, as these kids have the opportunity to minister to others and continue to learn more and more about their great Creator through different means...

He does have quite a many different ways to teach us things, doesn't He? Wow! What a rollercoaster ride! Throughout this year, I have shared with y'all much of what He's taught me here... I know it probably has sounded redundant a lot of the times, but every new thing has opened my eyes more to the greatness of God, and of His soveriegnty! And here I am again, with yet another lesson learned. This is gonna be a long one, y'all, maybe the longest one yet... I'm sorry, I hope you have time!!

The past couple of months have been great! they have just been so great! I have felt so close to the Lord, and have just been so happy. But... there's somebody who doesn't like that closeness, and will do almost anything to break it... yes, that's right, satan, the father of lies, started feeding them to me like never before! It was all very unusual, because in the midst of my happiness and peace, and just right in the midst of this great closeness to the Lord, there started to creep in these four lies in the shape of feelings of rejection, discouragement, hopelessness and impatience... they each had their share of wearing on me for a couple of days, but thankfully I serve a great God who, without fail, accepts me, encourages me, gives me hope, and is not only patient with me, but teaches me how to be patient as He works out His plan for my life.

Through differing circumstances recently, my walk has been wide open to hear and accept those four lies, and what I've learned is that God will allow that to happen, and you'll learn through them as you trust in Him. It's hard to refute those things by yourself... it's actually impossible, because the world will continue to reject you, but God will never reject you. You will never stop feeling discouraged by circumstances around you, but God has an amazing and soveriegn plan that includes each one of those circumstances! And the world leaves you little room for hope of better days... things just seem to get sadder, and smoggier, and meaner... but because Christ died for us, we can be filled with hope that God has this great place for us, full of smiles and clean air, families united in Christ for eternity and His unfailing love surrounding us! and lastly, waiting is hard, and we can't wait by ourselves, because we're constantly tempted to jump ahead, but God promises to bless those who wait on Him, and He is so faithful to fulfill His promises! So when we try to tackle these things on our own, we'll hit a dead end every time, but I've learned that when we look to the Lord for guidance, He will never fail to bring us to the truth!

Romans 14:3b
"...for God has accepted him."
This verse talks about the acceptance that the Lord offers to those high in faithfulness and those lacking in faith, but applies for all situations. I know that rejection is something that many people struggle with, and it's hard, but the truth is, none of us are rejected! Because the Lord has an open offer of acceptance for each and every one of us! In fact, He's already accepted us, and it's up to us whether or not we want to join Him eternally in Heaven. The world will reject us over and over again, but this place is temporary, and none of it matters, because we are accepted eternally by our Creator, our SAVIOR, and He will never, NEVER let any of us down as we seek Him.

2 Corinthians 7:4
"I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles, my joy knows no bounds."
Circumstances so often are annoying and seem rediculously pointless. I have let a lot of small circumstances really discourage me recently... But you've gotta remember that the Lord created every circumstance, and will use all of them to better your character and strengthen your walk with Him. I know I've talked before about "all things together" and it's so true.... so we can find such encouragement, through those annoying circumstances that we're like, "that's stupid, why does it even matter?" or "why can't it be this way" because God knows they're not annoying or pointless, but for your betterment. Why? Because He loves us and has accepted us... So, as Paul did, we need to find joy in all these things, because we know that He works "all things together for the good of those who love Him."

Jeremiah 14:22
"Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring down rain? Do the skies themselves send down showers? No, it is You, oh, Lord our God. Therefore our hope is in You, for You are the One who does all of this."
wow... I continually put my hope in my own strength or in the world around me to bring situations together, or "fix" things in my life, and all of it has left me HOPELESS... because it won't work. The world doesn't make things happen. God makes things happen. He is a great miracle worker, and I know that many of you have seen Him work amazing miracles in your own lives or in the lives of your friends and family. God is our only hope! He promises us great things! He promises us ETERNITY with Him! We have got to put every ounce of our hope in Him alone, cause there isn't any hope other than that... it all falls through because He's not in it!

Psalm 40
"I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry."
There are numerous, too many to count, instances in the Bible where God said "wait" and His servants waited patiently until He told them exactly what to do and when to do it. And what great blessings He flooded on them every time! Through waiting, and trusting in God alone, they came through each time... However, had they not waited on the Lord to give them His go-ahead and His plan, things would have been, and sometimes were, really bad (see Joshua 9:14, and following verses). The Lord blesses us when we seek His will, and when we don't jump ahead of Him, but we wait for Him to move in us and reveal somehow what He wants us to do. I'm waiting for direction, but that's not the only thing we need to seek Him in. This should be the first thing we consider before any decision, big or small... When we truly are living fully surrendered in the Lord's great and soveriegn plan, then we will know true joy, even in hard times, because we'll know "this is part of the plan... go with it..." As Paul told the Hebrews "do not throw away your confidence (in God)..... you need to persevere, so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised" and later encouraged them to "run with perseverance the race marked out for us."

So there it is.... I hope the Lord has enlightened you as He has me this summer... I never cease to be amazed by all He teaches me here.... all the way from cooking 75 eggs to major life lessons.... what a great God!

anyways, as always, thanks for your continued prayers... please pray for safety as these kids travel all over the middle section of the country in the next few weeks... we have 5 in St. Louis right now on a mission trip! and pray for the campers in the next 2 weeks also, that the Lord moves in each of them and they go home with a new found love for Him!

I love y'all!!
Anna Kathryn

"I thank my God everytime I remember you;
in all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy."
-Philippians 1:3

Memorable moments... there are a few more, but we'll spare you the lengthiness......

Preston: "Jordan, can I borrow your helmet?"
Jordan: "Sure"
Peter: "You have a pink helmet??"
Jordan: "Pink is the new black, don't you know?"

Zachary, discussing dumpsters with the Oakrise guys: "I don't know why, but I always thought BFI was some kind of security..."
Me: "Maybe you're thinking of FBI?"